About The Book:
- by B.N. Maudlin
- Age Group: Young Adult
- Category: Dystopia / Science Fiction
- Pages: 226
- Publication: June 4th 2013
- Publisher: Fable Press
- Rating: 4/5
- Tour Organized by: Enchanted Book Promotions
Amazon.co.uk (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Belligerent-Vicara-ebook/dp/B00CNSY6B6
Amazon.ca (Canada): http://www.amazon.ca/Belligerent-Vicara-ebook/dp/B00CNSY6B6
In a dystopian future the populace is segregated into castes. Belligerents, the lowest of status, are comprised of criminals and outcasts. Content as a faceless Commoner, Ryan has made a life for himself on the streets as a car thief. While the work isn’t the most noble, he’s known as one of the best despite his young age.
Ryan’s skills catch the eye of a flagrant Owner, bent on winning the virtual competition: Vicara. Newly branded as a Belligerent, Ryan struggles for freedom and acceptance at an academy specialized in training teams for Vicara. Ryan’s place on the team is shaky as he learns the truth and tragedy behind the person he replaces.
Join the Belligerents as we get our first look into the world of Vicara!
Ryan stopped in one last car park. He headed to the top level and was shocked at what he found.
“Who would be dumb enough to park a Zeus in a Darton car park?” he muttered to himself while stepping closer to the beautiful machine. Deciding not to waste time debating the matter, he quickly set about disabling the car’s alarms using equipment he had bought with his last big paycheck. After finishing with the panel and underlying electronics, he and was about to climb into the driver’s seat when a firm hand landed on his shoulder.
“That’s quite enough, kid.”
Ryan spun around and swung a right hook at the stranger’s face managing to startle the man enough that he lost his grip. Dodging around him, Ryan took off only to be grabbed by another man.
“Not so fast.”
The first man stepped up and took hold of Ryan’s other arm.
Ryan had never been caught before, but he had heard stories from the others who had. His stomach sank as he realized what might happen to him, and he thrashed to free himself of the men’s hold.
“Stop struggling, kid.”
“What’s going on here?” a third man asked as he approached them.
Ryan recognized him as the Owner from the day before. He was dressed in a suit as the other two were, but there was a huge difference between the tailored, sleek, grey suit the man was wearing and the generic, matching suits that the other two had thrown on.
“We caught him trying to steal your car.”
The Owner stepped forward and looked over the Zeus then down at the equipment that Ryan had dropped in the struggle.
He let out a loud guffaw, “So my plan succeeded. Some things are so predictable. How’s his work?”
“Neat. There’s not even a smudge. He would have succeeded if we hadn’t shown up.”
“Does he have a pass?”
Passes kept people from being taken as Belligerents. It was the only thing that kept them safe. A pass was freedom. The men looked at thief, but he kept his gaze on the Owner. Of course, Ryan didn’t have a pass. A minor, five year pass cost five hundred thousand credits, and that was more than the average person made in ten years.
The Owner’s face lit up in delight when Ryan didn’t produce any proof of freedom. “What’s your name, kid? Eva wouldn’t tell me.”
“It’s Ryan,” he muttered.
“No last name?”
Ryan shook his head. “Not one that matters.”
“Good. That’s what I like to hear. Well, Ryan, people call me Shifter.”
Ryan thought the name suited him. The man did look shifty, especially with his cold, grey eyes and his unnaturally silver hair.
“It would appear that you’re just the person I need at the moment,” Shifter said. “I saw your work yesterday, and I’ve had some people tracking you today. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen and I think you’ll be a great addition.”
“Addition to what?
“My team.” Shifter gave a grin that made him shudder. “I happen to have a spot open, and I would love for you to fill it.”
“Not a chance,” Ryan said through gritted teeth. One of his worst fears was playing out and his body felt as if it was rejecting every moment.
“Not your choice,” Shifter replied lightly.
Even if I hadn’t seen the synopsis or saw the grungy (but awesome) cover, I would have instantly known that this was dystopian. There’s no explanation, you’re just thrown into this world where if you’re punished you “GET” to join a Colosseum type of fighting, and you may or may not get training. I can’t imagine wanting to be a criminal but sometimes it’s either that or starve to death, and that’s where we meet our main character, Ryan.
I really like Ryan, although he has some trust issues. But living in this type of world I’m pretty sure everyone does. For a short book this was pretty intense. B.N. Maudlin is able to introduce Ryan’s team mates but that doesn’t mean the drama stops, quite the opposite! And the drama gets more and more interesting as we get to know his group and the school that he attends. Sadly we don’t see much of Shifter. I am curious about that guy! And we also lose touch with Alex. I really liked her!
Into dystopian and need a short read? Pick this one up! It’s fast, dramatic, and is completely different from anything I’ve read. Fabulous!
About B.N. Maudlin:
Writing since she was “old enough to hold a crayon”, B.N. Mauldin resides in Lexington, North Carolina with her two cats. Her parents, Bill, Bobby, Shirley, and Mary have always been great sources of encouragement, as well as her two younger brothers, Matthew and Donovan, whose imaginations inspire her writing. A vital element of Mauldin’s mentality involves looking at something ordinary while contemplating what else it could be.
A tea addict and “Slytherin” at heart Mauldin also gets a spark of creativity through considerable reading of “some of the greatest works ever written.”
To read more about B.N., follow her blog: http://ofinksandteas.tumblr.com/
Mauldin’s first novel, Belligerent, is now available for pleasurable reading through Fable Press: www.fablepress.com.